Fancy seeing the most beautiful and charming villages and towns Yorkshire has to offer this summer? Since a lot of us are opting for holidays a little closer to home, we thought we’d give you some offerings to spark your imagination about where you can go in God’s Own Country. And Saltaire just had to top that list.
A charming model village in West Yorkshire built back in 1853, the quaint destination is dotted with sandy stone houses, which were originally built to house workers in the Victorian era.
The concept of the Model Village was simple: accommodate workers in better houses, and offer a healthier and more sanitised environment to live with low rent. Looking back with rose-tinted specs, it feels like it would have been a haven away from the smog-filled cities of the day.
Now, in the present day, it is home to the inspiring Bradford-born artist David Hockney art gallery, as well as some impressive shops and tantalising restaurants and cafe.
The stone-washed village was founded by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire woollen industry, and named using part of the founder’s surname and the name of the pretty river that runs through the village. Designed by local architects, Francis Lockwood and Richard Mawson, Saltaire has beautiful Italianate architecture and rich history, even being named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.
The Model Village and its large textiles mill sit beside the Leeds and Liverpool canal and offers its visitors a chance to learn the history of the textiles industry, which made Yorkshire a powerhouse in the Victorian era.
If you do choose to visit Saltaire, you can take a walk through said history as you meander along next to the canal past the sandy stone houses, or head on to the main street to enjoy its quaint shops, little bistros, pubs and restaurants. The village is free to visit and is a place where ordinary non-Victorian folk live.
Here are our top picks of places to visit in Saltaire:
- Salt Mills
- The United Reformed Church
- Half Moon Café
- Hirst woods
- Rose and Brown vintage clothing store
- David Hockney Gallery
- Leeds and Liverpool Canal walk
- Fanny’s Ale House